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Islamabad is a small city by South Asian standards but a much smaller place when it comes to educated professionals seriously

indulging in literary or artistic pursuits or having a passion for cerebral and creative subjects. Having people like Khayyam around gives us some succour. Otherwise the harsh winds of philistinism irrationality bigotry and violence raging over the intellectual wasteland of !akistan would break us. "he other day when Khayyam was flaunting his not#so#new android cell phone he downloaded an application and made me listen to the lines from a novel by $harles %ukowski in the writer&s own voice. %ukowski said 'It was my first poetry reading...I bust my cherry on that one...I felt terrified...superior...but terrified() *hat an e+pression , superior but terrified. It got me thinking. *hen does one feel that*hen an artist is e+hibiting his work a poet reciting his poem or a writer reading from her work in front of an audience who may not be as skilled as the performer but still possesses the authority to approve or disapprove applaud or dismiss on that occasion. *hile being intellectually and physically superior to her you may also feel the same in front of a beloved whose charm and wit disarm you. .ou long for her presence but when she is in front of you you feel scared , you are terrified. "hese are all conditions of an individual a normal human being. $an this happen to a collective an institution a class a nation a country- .es it can. "his is e+actly what is happening with the powers that be that are running the affairs of the state of !akistan today. "he state and government of !akistan is superior to the ""! and all other militant outfits but at the same time completely terrified by them. *hy do I say they are superior- /irst we have an elected parliament which has the legal and moral authority to legislate for the people of !akistan. It can make any laws that help it further the national agenda. Second we have a strong government at the federal level which by no means has to wriggle out to keep itself in power while continuously worrying about keeping deceptive coalition partners on board , as was the case with the previous !!!#led government. !olicymaking and wielding their e+ecutive authority is much easier for them than was the case previously. "hird we have a standing army of half a million with sufficient e+perience strength e0uipment and ability to take on anyone who challenges the writ of the !akistani state. "hen why are they terrified of the ""! and other militant outfits that work in the name of religion- "hey are not scared a wee bit when someone wages a struggle against the state or the government of !akistan in the name of provincial economic linguistic or labour rights- "he arms of the state stretch out and crush them. In case of militant outfits which work in the garb of religion they are terrified and confused. "hey become apologetic for not acting at all in time rightly or wrongly is a different business. *hen the interior minister says that Americans have betrayed !akistan by killing the ""! chief he conveniently forgets that the state of !akistan had not removed the head money

So why are we terrified by militant outfits that operate in the name of Islam. He avoids telling us that the delegation of three religious clerics being sent to initiate the dialogue was supposed to meet other people and not the slain "aliban leader. "he !"I is a little handicapped to do that since for their leader the political history of !akistan begins with the formation of his party. Historically the !akistani state establishment its military and right#wing political actors like the :amaat#e#Islami created a narrative of the state of !akistan based on e+clusion intolerance for those who are different and a certain kind of religiosity in the name of Islam. "his narrative has become popular today with a large number of people in the power centres of northern !akistan . All our ills are rooted in our history. Any sane person would suggest holding a dialogue with those who want to lay down . /or them e+tremism and terrorism in !akistan and the wider region begin with 3455 . "hey encouraged using religion to counter every internal and e+ternal challenge to their authority and influence to shift focus from the real issues of poverty and dispossession of the common people to control the minds of the people. In his advocacy for the dialogue process he says that we should also think what happens if a military operation from our side fails. I had no idea that the 1ato#Isaf forces observed Ashura. He forgets to mention in his speech in the 1ational Assembly that Hakeemullah&s younger brother was apprehended in Afghanistan a few days ago when he was trying to plot more attacks in !akistan with the help of Afghan intelligence.from Hakeemullah even after agreeing to the process of dialogue with them. "he !"I chief in his subse0uent speech in the 1ational Assembly praises the interior minister for his unrelenting pursuit for initiating a peace process with groups within the umbrella of the ""! and also its splinters.It is not that difficult to understand if we take a view of the past. "here were at least half#a#do2en acts of terrorism against !akistan in the meanwhile including the killing of senior army men. "he powerful institutions of the state and the institutions of society supported by the state infused a certain mi+ of paranoia of both India and the west and a pride in their religion and nationhood in the name of religion through biased and lopsided curricula conservative media messages and harbouring religious movements both violent and non# violent that were bigoted in nature. $oming to the !89#1 it has contributed to a part of that past of !akistan and still draws support from the conservative middle classes of !unjab and the Hindko#speaking areas of Khyber !akhtunkhwa. He had the gall to say that even after knowing that 8ehsud was waging war against !akistan and had killed thousands of innocent women men and children. "he slain leader of the ""! is termed a martyr by the :I chief. 9ahore Islamabad and !eshawar besides other cities and towns in these areas. as recently as in 6775. 1or had the ""! declared ceasefire on us. *hat he decides not to speak about is what happens if the dialogue process fails. Interestingly at the prete+t of respecting 8uharram he has announced not to block 1ato#Isaf supplies until the fourth week of 1ovember.

"he !akistani establishment has made a certain narrative popular which the two parties are based into. and then go on and rehabilitate them."hey are not pursuing the process from a position of strength. If we want a theocracy in !akistan militants just want more of it and of course of their own brand.com . %ut what is your position. <ven if we are superior but terrified we are not superior. "he writer is a poet and author based in Islamabad.arms and become part of the mainstream political process. <mail= harris.Also what do you do with those who will not lay down arms and instead come up with conditions that are detrimental to the very foundations of the state. "hey are.*hat will the !89#1 and the !"I say then. !erhaps they can&t because even if they know the truth they cannot speak the truth to their constituents those who have voted them in.khali0ue>gmail.